History has give way to all sorts of strange customs. When it comes to hunting, however, you might be hard pressed to find any category quite as bizarre. Popular hunting techniques have come and gone and over the years, civilizations turned to any number of strange practices. These activities might seem odd now but once upon a time, they were all the rage. Whether they were for food or for pests, they did they trick and at the time, these techniques were at the top of their game.
- Trout Tickling
Getting a free dinner is not a laughing matter. The ancient fishing technique of trout tickling is as serious as they come, requiring a whole lot of stealth and patience. With no equipment required, the technique asks that you wait by a trout hole downstream. Next, lie stomach down on the back, reach into the water and feel for a trout. When you feel the trout come your way, tickle the belly from head to foot to lull the fish into a daze. Once you reach the hand, yank the fish out of the water and keep your catch. Used by the poor in Europe, this activity was once common knowledge and those who perfected their game got to eat like kings, wherever they were.
- Golden Eagle Hunting
For Mongolia’s ethnic minority, the Burkitshi, golden eagles are an important part of their hunting technique. Riding on horseback, the hunters search for prey with the birds perched on their arms, ready to jump at any given moment. A hunter and his bird are deeply bonded, having been together for most of the animal’s life. For a proper bond, the eagle must be caught at around 4 years old, domesticated and fed by hand. While the birds live up to 30 years, the hunters release them into the wild after 10, giving them free reign over the land.
- Persistence Hunting
Thanks to the development of the human body over hundreds of thousands of years, we have some of the most impressive stamina levels in the animal kingdom. It makes sense, then, that human stealth has been used as a part of hunting for thousands of years. In some parts of the world, hunting techniques have barely changed, taking influence from models put into place generations ago. Persistence hunting is still in practice for the Kalahari Bushmen of Botswana, who have used it throughout history. The activity puts the men in the heart of the action as they track down and kill their own prey by hand.
- Gum Lime Sticks
When you can’t catch something with your bare hands, what do you do? Luckily, there is a whole world of sticky material out there, just waiting to be put to use. For poachers in ancient Cyprus, songbirds were the prime target. Hunters would gather lime sticks and cover them in sticky gums taken from Syrian plums. Placed in the lower reaches of juniper trees, the sticks provided perfect landing spots for the birds, who were then encaptured by the material. The technique proved to be so effective that it is even used today, causing a massive decline in the songbird population.